It's Monday Lord and
my mind is somewhat blank and a bit confused.
In so many ways I feel lost or disoriented,
like I need to find a compass to learn what direction I'm moving.
I've passed the two week mark since losing Jan and
I've worked hard to keep myself busy.
Lot's of time with my kids and grandkids,
Lot's of times over breakfast, lunch and dinner with friends.
I think that "busy is good" right now and
some day I am sure that a "new normal" will emerge.
My confusion is partly a matter of identity,
of understanding how to think of myself.
How do you go from 47 years of thinking of yourself as John/Jan
to thinking of yourself as John?
How do you go from planning life together
to planning life for yourself without input from your other half?
I relished the life of "oneness" with Jan and
now there is no "two" but just "one".
I sat down for lunch today with Lee and Carol and
looked at Carol and said "this is all you get...just me."
I maybe shouldn't have said that but
that impulsive thought expressed how I felt at the moment.
We were best men in each others weddings and
we've spent a lifetime together as couple friends.
That's part of my confusion as
now we still be friends but with a new configuration.
So I've been feeling sorry for myself and
I should know better than that.
Because I am not alone and
you keep reminding me of that.
You keep nudging me with the awareness of Your presence.
I open cards and letters that tell me "I/we are praying for you".
Margot calls to ask me to come to school for lunch with her and
she's checked the menu to find a day when she thinks I will like the food.
Joel calls to tell me about a guy in Polly's Island, NC who is turning his life around
after hearing of Jan's death and her love of The Starfish Story.
Julie calls to check up on me to be sure everything is okay and
our long conversation encourages and lifts my spirits.
Then Lord you keep reminding me that you are I AM.
"I" am the One who will never leave you or forsake you.
"I" am the Good Shepherd who walks with you through the valley.
"I" am the Comforter.
"I" am the Voice that calms the troubled sea.
"I" am the Presence that indwells you.
John's gospel tells me that you are the great I AM.
Thank you for being the "I am" in my life.
I know that eventually I will find my own "I am" identity
as I move through the learning curve of this phase of my life.
I AM GRATEFUL to call you my Immanuel because
you truly are "God with me" and you have pitched your tent right next to mine.